Oscars 2022: Jimmy Kimmel praises hosts after Will Smith slap

Jimmy Kimmel praised the ceremony hosts amid the Will Smith and Chris Rock drama (Picture: AFP / Getty)

Jimmy Kimmel praised Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall for taking on this year’s Oscars, before branding the physical altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock as’ unpleasant’.

The Grown Ups comedian, 57, was on stage to present an award for best documentary, which went to Summer of Soul.

However, things took a turn when he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, who was in the crowd beside her husband.

‘Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,’ he said, referring to the alopecia sufferer’s buzz cut – something she was visibly unimpressed with.

Shortly before King Richard star Will won the best actor award, he stormed up on stage and slapped Chris before telling him: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth.’

Jimmy – who has hosted the annual event twice – showed his support for the three actresses on Twitter who kept the night afloat despite the drama.

Will Smith, Chris Rock

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock after he joked about his wife Jada (Picture: Reuters/Rex)

‘I know the big story is the slap, but congratulations to Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall who were very funny,’ he tweeted.

‘I hope that isn’t overshadowed by the unpleasantness.’

While the audience was kept entertained by the trio through the evening, with Amy at one point joking that it was ‘cheaper’ for the Academy to hire all three of them than one male presenter.

She added she was ‘representing unbearable white women who call the cops when you get a little too loud’.

Another moment saw Amy using sign language as she spoke of how much she loved the film Coda, which features a predominantly deaf cast.

She described the film, which went on to win best picture, as ‘my favourite movie.’

Chat show host Conan O’Brien also weighed in on the controversy and replied: ‘Just saw the Will Smith slap. Anyone have a late night show I can borrow just for tomorrow?’

‘Anytime you want to take it for a spin, it’s yours,’ Jimmy quipped.

Regina (left) Amy (middle) and Wanda (right) presented this year’s ceremony (Picture: AFP)

Shortly after the showdown, the Academy Awards responded to the events in a statement, which read: ‘The Academy does not condone violence of any form.’

‘Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.’

Following the shocking moment, fellow actors Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper were seen calming the Fresh Prince star down.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department has said a report has not been filed.

A spokesperson told PA: ‘LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards programme.

The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report.

‘If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.

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